Item description for The Oxford History of Greece and the Hellenistic World by John Boardman, Jasper Griffin & Oswyn Murray...
From the epic poems of Homer to the glittering art and architecture of Greece's Golden Age, to the influential Roman systems of law and leadership, the classical Greek world established the foundations of our culture as well as many of its most enduring achievements. Now, in this vivid volume, readers can embrace the spirit of the classical world, from the eighth to the first centuries B.C., a period unparalleled in history for its brilliance in literature, philosophy, and the visual arts. This work also treats the Hellenization of the Middle East by the monarchies established in the area conquered by Alexander the Great. The editors, all celebrated classicists, intersperse chapters on political and social history with sections on literature, philosophy, and the arts, and reinforce the historical framework with maps and historical charts. Moreover, the contributors--thirty of the world's leading scholars--present the latest in modern scholarship through masterpieces of wit, brevity, and style. Together with hundreds of excellent illustrations, these entries provide both a provocative and entertaining window into our classical heritage.
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Studio: Oxford University Press, USA
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.26" Width: 5.68" Height: 1.11" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date Mar 14, 2002
Publisher Oxford University Press
ISBN 0192801376 ISBN13 9780192801371
Availability 0 units.
More About John Boardman, Jasper Griffin & Oswyn Murray
John Boardman is Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology and Art, Lincoln College, Oxford. Dr Oswyn Murray is Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History at Baliol College, Oxford. Dr Jasper Griffin is Tutor in Ancient History at Baliol College, Oxford.
John Boardman has an academic affiliation as follows - Environmental Change Institute, Univ. of Oxford, UK Lincoln College, O.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Oxford History of Greece & the Hellenistic World?
The value of this book is high Feb 7, 2007
Whether you're a newcomer to Greek history or someone who has already studied diverse segments of it looking to organize your knowledge, this book will be an aid. It is essentially an overview of the main studies - aka, philosophy, literature, politics, military, eras, etc. That said, as it is a compilation of all these diverse things, it tends to become less specialist and more general (big picture). That is why people who are intensely interested in Greek history would be better off buying books specializing in different parts of it, then buying this book to clarify and put into context what you've learned from those other sources. Newcomers can make use of it too, but there will undoubtedly be parts they won't be able to make sense of due to their inexpertise. By and large, however, this book is accessible and to varrying degrees useful to professionals, amateurs, longtime students, and newcomers alike - providing they can tolerate academic language.
The Oxford History of Greece & the Hellenistic World Jan 30, 2007
Very detailed and interesting information. It helped a lot prepraring for our trip to Rhodes and AThens
Please correct the review below! Nov 12, 2006
I own the "Oxford Companion of Classical Civilization", where all the contributors appearing in this volume have contributed there as well. Judging from the quality of the Companion even this volume must be a wonderful reading. The reason I write this is not to praise the book, but to draw the attention to the concluding remarks of the review below written by BCA Bortignon.
He claims that Greek culture is a "culture alive only in museums". And that it was created by "a people extinct or bred out of existence; and of a history lived before our current means of measuring time existed (this was long before the advent of the Julian Calender.) "
Mr. BCA Bortignon! Greece exists and there are ca 15 millions of Greeks speaking essentially the same language as the Koine, the language of the gospels. The Greeks lived long before the advent of Julian Calender, long after and up to the present, before you made them extinct. I fact Julian Calendar was created on behalf of Julius Ceasar, 1st century BC, by a Greek astronomer (Sosigenes of Alexandria), using a rather crude but simple estimate of the length of solar year (365.25) although the Greeks had far better estimates.
The Greek Culture is very much alive and spreading. In your wonderful country you had two times the Greek Olympics. Sidney's opera house is nothing but a slight extension of a Greek theatre. You are governed by a Democracy, a slight variation of the Greek type. If you are a scientist then you use critical thinking, observations, experimentation, axioms, theorems, proofs, free discussion. Greek inventions. If you are in the Humanities then you are still writting footnotes to Plato. In a very definite sense the Greek Culture is not confined to museums. It is far more alive and dominant than any other and you yourself are far more Greek than Australian.
Please make the necessary changes in your review, the part that you yourself call ramblings. Otherwise I will be forced to ask this site to remove your review which is otherwise very helpful.
The perfect volume for any lover of history. Jan 29, 2005
The Oxford History of Greece and the Hellenisic World is a perfect primer for ancient Greek studies on history, literature, philosophy and art, but it is also a great read for the casual history and literature buff (which is the reason I read it!) Spanning from the Archaic Period, with Homer and Hesiod, through the Classical period with Aeschylus and Euripides, to the curious Hellenistic world: a world of three empires (The Antigonids of Macedon, the Seleucids of Western Turkey through to Afghanistan, and the Ptolemies of Egypt) where the Roman influence was penetrating an already crumbled empire unable to defend itself against Roman cultural and military pressures. The Greeks still adopted the slow, inflexible, easily flanked and routed phalanx - no match for the Roman Legions which would soon topple almost all of the three empires.
I must make special mention of certain essays. (This volume is a collection of essays by experts in their fields: as such, some sections are better than others.) The histories are absolutely brilliant, enlightening and fascinating. The discussion of literature is a mixed bag, however. One of my favourite essays is one on Homer's poetry. It must be read to be believed - wonderful stuff. However, the chapter on Elegaic and Lyric Poetry I found to be cryptic garbage. I study English - though admittedly mostly prose and script - and a lot of the discussion went far too deep, far too fast, and, coupled with a piecemeal historical background to be considered, the chapter turned to dust. It is certainly worth reading, but it by far the weakest chapter. The chapters on philosophy were, in fact, my favourite - sitting right up top with Homer. These chapters were probably the only truly "riveting" moments in the book, because the themes they deal with are so large, and the evolution so fascinating. The sections on mythology and religion are solid and informative. Thankfully art and architecture are not neglected, and the chapters concerning their evolution and influence are interesting, if not a little bit too far away from my sphere of interest. The depiction of the various deities and the like, however, was great and complemented the religious chapters well.
The maps and the historical chart (detailing events both social and cultural) are the best I have ever seen in a single paperback volume. The selected readings at the end of each chapter are both comprehensive and accessible, so full marks there. It is a small pity that there isn't a glossary of useful greek terms, but that is of little consequence and does nothing to tarnish this brilliant gem.
It pains me a bit to see that this book has only one review (now two) to it's name. It deserves to be read. As is said in the introduction of this book: "To see that such things can be true of people whom in some ways we find intelligible and recognizable can help to deliver us from the tyranny of the present, from the assumption that our own habits of action and thought are really inescapable, and from the idea that there are no alternatives. That is the liberating power of the past." (Boardman, p.8)
The past liberates us from ourselves and should not be forgotten. This is something I passionately believe, and I am not even a historian.
It is needless to say but I will say it anyway: buy this book and any other Oxford history you can find - or Cambridge history for that matter - and absord it all. The details are not important the first time through, just withold the themes and the power that comes from reading about a culture alive only in museums and through bastardised archaic customs and throwbacks; of a people extinct or bred out of existence; and of a history lived before our current means of measuring time existed (this was long before the advent of the Julian Calender.)
I am rambling.
Buy. Read. Enjoy.
Good Introduction Apr 30, 2001
This book does an excellent job of serving as a primer for studies of the ancient Greeks.